IN THIS EPISODE:
Michigan DNR researchers document the northern madtom – a tiny, endangered catfish that’s venomous. Then take a cinematic journey through Earth’s largest freshwater ecosystem – the Great Lakes watershed – with a preview of a new documentary series. And “The Catch” has news about the lakes you love.
WHERE WE TAKE YOU IN NOVEMBER
GREAT LAKES LEARNING:
Explore this month’s hands-on lesson plans designed to help your middle schoolers understand the Great Lakes — all at home or in the classroom. They’re aligned to education standards AND free to download.Lesson Plans
Have a question about the Great Lakes or life in the region?
Ask Great Lakes Now, and if we can answer it, we might loop it into our coverage so others can learn too.Submit Your Question
When to Watch?
Check your local station for when Great Lakes Now is on in your area.
Premieres on DPTV
Wednesday, November 30, at 7:30 PM
STATIONS CARRYING THE SERIES
Bad Axe, Michigan
Bay County, Michigan
Bowling Green, Ohio
Buffalo, New York
East Lansing, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Green Bay, Wisconsin
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Menomonie-Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Park Falls, Wisconsin
South Bend, Indiana
Syracuse, New York
University Center, Michigan
Watertown, New York for Ontario signal
Watertown, New York for U.S. signal
Searching for Madtoms
SEGMENT 1 | Marysville, Michigan
Northern madtom are tiny catfish that most anglers will go their entire lives and never encounter. So why are they of interest to Michigan Department of Natural Resources research biologists Jan-Michael Hessenauer and Brad Utrup?
Because these tiny fish play an important role in the ecosystem as an indicator species, Hennsenauer says. Their presence or absence can tell researchers a great deal about the health of a river system. And these researchers were particularly interested to learn more about where and when the madtoms nest.
How deep was the water? What type of habitat did they use? What kind of structures did they prefer? The answers to these questions and others would help guide future fisheries management plans.
A small population of northern madtoms was known to inhabit the lower St. Clair River, and Hessenauer and Utrup wanted to study the fish. But to do that, first they would have to become certified divers.
Greg Lashbrook is a professional underwater cameraman who has shot several stories for Great Lakes Now. Over the years, Lashbrook has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, Fishes and Oceans Canada, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Michigan DNR and national broadcasters from Discover’s Animal Planet to National Geographic.
When Hessenauer and Utrup were ready to start looking for madtom nests, they turned to Lashbrook for help. Working together, the divers set out to find and document northern madtoms in the St. Clair River.
Go along with them.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work by Kathy Johnson, who produced this segment:
For more Great Lakes Now stories about fish in the Great Lakes:
Great Lakes in the Spotlight
SEGMENT 2 | Throughout the Great Lakes Watershed and the UK
A new three-part documentary series is taking viewers inside one of the largest freshwater ecosystems on Earth: the Great Lakes watershed. Through amazing cinematography, the series captures the stories of the wildlife that call this vast ecosystem home.
“Great Lakes Untamed,” is an international project that took more than 3 years to complete and features the work of some of the world’s most talented cinematographers. The project was led by veteran BBC nature documentarian, Ted Oakes, who grew up along the Ottawa River in Canada and developed a fascination for the Great Lakes as a young boy in Canada.
“I’ve been making wildlife shows for BBC here in the UK for 25 years and no one had ever really turned that big budget lens on the Great Lakes watershed and all the natural history of the watershed,” said Oakes.
The series explores some Great Lakes mysteries, from Canada’s longest underwater cave system to flying squirrels that glow in the dark.
According to Oakes, most films about the Great Lakes focus on the environmental challenges and the damage that has been done to the Lakes. He says his team was committed to creating a film that showcased the natural beauty of the watershed as a way to encourage viewers to appreciate and protect the region.
“We felt it was important that the television series was reminding people what we have to lose and how beautiful the Great Lakes watershed is.”
Here’s how you can watch the documentary, which aired on TVO in Canada and is presented on the Smithsonian Channel in the United States. Links below!
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on animals of the region:
The Catch: News about the Lakes You Love
SEGMENT 3 | Northern Minnesota, Cleveland, Ohio, Grand Marais, Minnesota
Keep up with the Great Lakes’ biggest issues. Find out how environmental challenges are impacting your enjoyment of the outdoors and the health of the ecosystem. Go beyond the headlines with reporters from around the region.
This segment – The Catch – in our award-winning PBS program will keep you in the know. This month, stories about penalties for Enbridge, beach-cleaning robots, and a new Great Lakes Now column, “Nibi Chronicles.”
First up, a story from Minnesota Public Radio’s Kirsti Marohn, who has been following news about Enbridge Energy regarding Line 3. Enbridge is facing government action and criminal charges stemming from violations during the construction of the Line 3 pipeline in Northern Minnesota.
“Several state agencies and one Native American tribe, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, announced this enforcement action against Enbridge,” said Marohn.
In addition to the state agencies, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office has filed one misdemeanor count against Enbridge in Clearwater County District Court for using state waters without a permit.
Next, Zaria Johnson of Ideastream Public Media talks about a new fleet of remote-controlled robots coming to Great Lakes shorelines in spring of 2023. The bots will collect plastic pollution from both the shoreline and the water as part of a larger binational effort called the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup initiative.
“The Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup Initiative is a partnership between two organizations that are based in Canada, and that’s the Council of the Great Lakes Region and Pollution Probe,” said Johnson.
Finally, a conversation with a new contributor to Great Lakes Now, Staci Drouillard, the writer behind a new column, “Nibi Chronicles.” Nibi is the Ojibwe word for water. “I thought it was a natural title for a column about the Great Lakes, and specifically where I live here on the north shore of Lake Superior,” said Drouillard.
Based in Grand Marais, Minnesota, Drouillard is a Grand Portage Ojibwe direct descendant, and her father is a band member. Drouillard hopes to infuse “Nibi Chronicles” with ideas rooted in the interconnections that are a crucial part of how she views the natural world.
Read her first column HERE.
Find all The Catch segments HERE.
Videos from Episode 2211
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Tracking wolves and moose on Isle Royale, and piloting Great Lakes freighters.
Mountain biking Great Lakes trails and the U.S. Supreme Court’s impact on wetlands.
Rock hunting along Great Lakes shorelines and Niagara farmers adapt to water scarcity.
An encore presentation of stories about eFoiling, water infrastructure, and The Catch.
A community fights for a cleaner future, creatively tackling food waste, and The Catch.
Breaking down an old Great Lakes freighter and feeding a giant freighter’s crew.
Climate change impacts maple syrup and a Toronto company’s push toward renewable power.
Citizen scientists chart the night sky, measure the health of a river and The Catch.
Ice climbing in northern Michigan and a controversial wind energy project on Lake Erie.
A high-tech solution for sewage and recovering WWII aircraft from Lake Michigan.
The science of shrinking ice coverage, Great Lakes ice fishing and skating on wild ice.
Seeking a small, venomous catfish, highlighting a Great Lakes docuseries and “The Catch.”
Exploring a debate over Great Lakes land use, eFoiling on Lake Huron, and The Catch.
The city’s nearly 400,000 pipes wouldn’t have to be fully removed for nearly 30 years after the rest of the nation.
Southwest Detroit has long been known for its heavy industry. In recent years, neighborhoods have teamed up with Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s Detroit refinery to strengthen and revitalize these communities, including a plan to create some much-needed green space.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources asks the public to notify the agency if they spot a black bear den. It’s part of a program to place orphaned cubs with a mother bear.
Can wastewater recycled for drinking water survive the court of public opinion?
The Great Lakes Now Series is produced by Rob Green and Sandra Svoboda.